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Minnesota experiences dry, cold winters and warm, humid summers. In order for a home to remain energy efficient year-round, it must keep a strong seal against the outdoor temperatures. Unfortunately, this leads to the indoor air becoming stale because fresh air has little opportunity to flow through the rooms.

Since you can’t throw open the doors and windows in your house when the outside temperatures are at extremes, you’ll need to find an alternative to allow fresh air in. This is where an energy recovery ventilator (and the similar heat recovery ventilator) is immensely helpful. This indoor air quality installation allows your home to enjoy fresh air without placing a huge strain on the heater or air conditioner.

Freedom Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. provides complete services for energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) and heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) in Minneapolis, MN and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to learn more.

How an ERV System Works

An energy recovery ventilator is installed into an HVAC system and connects to an outdoor vent. The ERV draws in fresh outdoor air and then runs it through an opposite current of stale indoor air. As the two currents move through each other, a process called counter–flow heat exchange occurs, where the warmer current loses heat to the cooler current. This process pre–heats or pre–cools the fresh air before it reaches the inside of the house.

For example, during a winter day, the cold fresh air moves through a current of warm—but stale—indoor air. The indoor air loses heat to the outdoor air, which warms up. The fresh air arrives in the house already at a higher temperature, making the job of the heating system easier. Meanwhile, the stale air is exhausted outside. During summer, the process simply reverses.

The Benefits of an Energy Recovery Ventilator

The main benefit of an ERV is that it allows a house to enjoy fresh air without having a negative effect on the operation of the heater or AC. On average, an ERV recovers 80% of the energy the HVAC system would’ve lost if the house were opened to the outside. It’s a great combination of improved indoor air quality and energy savings.

Energy recovery ventilators are also helpful when it comes to balancing humidity. Moisture moves between the two air currents in the ERV, so a dry indoors will receive a humidity boost, while a muggy indoors will lose much of its humidity.

How Is a Heat Recovery Ventilator Different?

An HRV is similar to an ERV in most ways: it runs two currents of air through each other to transfer heat between them. The main difference is that an ERV also transfers moisture, which allows for humidity balance, and an HRV does not. However, a heat recovery ventilator is sometimes more effective in colder weather. The best choice for your house depends on a number of factors. Speak to your indoor air quality specialist first to find out whether you should have an ERV or HRV system installed.

Contact Us for ERV and HRV Services in Minneapolis, MN

Both energy recovery and heat recovery ventilators occasionally require repairs and routine maintenance in order to keep them working. Along with installing these systems, our expert team at Freedom Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. also provides whatever services they may require so they will continue to provide their many benefits.

If you want to know more about HRV and ERV systems, or you wish to schedule installation or other service for one, simply give us a call. We serve Minneapolis, MN and the surrounding areas.

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